Joseph Mallord William Turner

Martigny: Street below La Bâtiaz with a Religious Procession


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 209 × 282 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest LXXIV 87

Catalogue entry

Finberg listed this leaf as ‘part of a parcel labelled by Mr. Ruskin – “R. 277. Grenoble series. Inferior drawings.”’ The drawings in this group are pencil outlines, lacking the additions of chalk or gouache found elsewhere in the sketchbook.
For Martigny subjects from this sketchbook see notes to D04494; Turner Beq uest LXXIV 2. This quick but expressive outline shows a busy street in the town, with a procession on a festival or saint’s day. Turner’s inscription has usually been read as describing a procession ‘for’ rain, but David Hill prefers ‘in’ and states that the weather turned wet while Turner was at Martigny. However, the paper is not marked by the raindrops that seem to have fallen on another drawing of the town from the present series (D04509; Turner Bequest LXXIV 16).
Together with a more finished, upright drawing of La Bâtiaz overlooking a sunlit street, from the same sketchbook (D04547; Turner Bequest LXXIV 54), this sketch served for Turner’s vignette Martigny made to illustrate Samuel Rogers’s Italy (1830); for the watercolour see Tate D27671; Turner Bequest CCLXXX 154. The vignette extends the view on the left to include the inn, La Cygne, where Turner stayed in Martigny, and the cabriolet he used on tour in 1802, taken from the sketch also from this sketchbook (D40208).
See D40198, with a further view of Martigny

David Blayney Brown
September 2011

Read full Catalogue entry

You might like

In the shop